Dental Health During Pregnancy

Dental Health During Pregnancy- Oral Health Facts

There are many myths about dental health and pregnancy.  Although you have a lot to think about during this time, oral health is just as important during pregnancy and should not be neglected.

The following facts will help improve your dental health during your pregnancy.

  • Nutrition is very important during pregnancy because your baby gets nutrients from your system.  By eating right, you can start caring for your teeth and your baby's teeth as soon as you find out you are pregnant.  Be sure to include foods with calcium and Vitamin D in you diet.  When snacks are sweet, tooth decay or cavities occur.  It is important to snack less often, or eat sweets at the end of a meal instead of between meals.
  • Some women have dental problems during pregnancy.  Hormonal changes can make your gums sore, swollen,  and bleeding.  Brushing and flossing your teeth daily can prevent this.  Did you have your teeth cleaned before you found out you were pregnant?  Having your teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist early in your pregnancy may prevent most gum problems.
  • Dental problems can be caused by smoking.  More importantly, smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.  NOW IS THE TIME TO STOP SMOKING!  Call the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line at 1.877.270.7867, TTY 1.877.777.6534, or Spanish Line 1.877266.3863.
  • It is important to see your dentist during your pregnancy to prevent dental problems.  Be sure to make a dental appointment before your baby is born.  After birth, it may be several months before you will be able to find time for an appointment.
  • If you need a have emergency dental care during your pregnancy, you may need to have some x-rays taken of your teeth.  Always be sure to remind your dental care staff of your pregnancy.  Care should be taken to limit or avoid nitrous oxide, some prescribed anitbiotics and some pain medications.  Your dentist can contact your obstetrician/ doctor with any questions.

Adapted from: "Oral Health Fact Sheet" --Arizona Health Services, Office of Oral Health